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External DAC/AMP for PC with no installed drivers?

  1. KStreetSounds
    Currently my only DAC/AMP is a Fiio X5. It works great on the go and as an external DAC/AMP for my PC at home. I have Beyer DT770 80-ohm.
     
    Problem is at work...
     
    I sometimes like to play Spotify Premium while I work during the day. There is no wifi in my office and I don't want to use cell data on my iPhone or iPad, so using the internet on my work PC is the only real option. Problem is I don't have the admin rights on my work PC to install the required drivers for the X5 (I requested permission from our IT department and was denied).
     
    So does anyone know a good DAC/AMP combo to drive the DT770's that DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY DRIVER INSTALLATION? Maybe the JDS Labs O2/ODAC?
     
    Thanks!
     
  2. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Ibasso -Zero MkII is cheaper at $120+shipping, also has a powerful amp section. I have the MkI, which is smaller and has a less powerful amp, and it can drive my HD600 well enough - not as tight as my Cantate.2 does but while that one's with my tech for repairs (the sound just turned to mono for some reason) I'm using the D-Zero and I don't miss the Cantate.2 too much, or at least not enough to badger my tech as he hasn't heard back from the parts suppliers yet anyway.
     
  3. KStreetSounds
    Just to clarify, drivers that install automatically through Windows are fine (like a USB flash drive or iPhone).
     
    But anyone who has a Fiio player will know what I mean about installing the special driver to use it as an external DAC - that is what I cannot do.
     
    I just don't know how common that is, or if the Schitt modi/magni or JDS labs O2/ODAC combo have drivers like that.
     
  4. ProtegeManiac Contributor
     
    Special drivers usually have more to do with high res files or DSD, or in the case of external soundcards, the whole software suite to access the settings on the DSP chip. With portable players that double as DACs it's partly because of this and partly because the firmware as a player gets in the way of using it as a DAC. Note though that some DACs that can do high res may function with 16/44.1 without installing the drivers, but for the most part anything that doesn't do high res should need no special drivers.
     
  5. KStreetSounds
    In this particular instance I would be playing 44.1/16, or mp3's at 320kbps (spotify premium). No high res files on my office computer.

    So either the Schiit stack or JDS labs O2/ODAC should work?
     
  6. ProtegeManiac Contributor
     
    AFAIK, yes - it should be plug and play. My D-Zero and Cantate.2 both plug in with no drivers installing actually, just the native Win7 drivers on my laptop.
     

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